UP sinks La Salle to grab first-ever FilOil title

UP has already shown its might this preseason. FilOil EcoOil Sports
By Mon Anthony L. Valmoria

MANILA—The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons leaned on its depth to turn back the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers, 87-76, and win their inaugural FilOil EcoOil Preseason Cup title Wednesday in San Juan.

The Fighting Maroons were spearheaded by Mark Belmonte and Francis Lopez who combined for 34 points off the bench.

Both players were part of the bench mob that saw UP score 46 bench points, signifying the school's terrifying depth.

La Salle kept it close after the 1st quarter, 30-22, behind three back-breaking threes by Evan Nelle and Mark Nonoy. 

However, that was the closest the Green Archers could get in the game. 

Belmonte waxed hot in the second quarter with back-to-back threes en route to scoring 12 points in the first half. Francis Lopez also chipped in 13 points of his own as UP built their biggest lead in the game at 45-26 which they would not relinquish.

To add to UP's first-ever FilOil title, Harold Alarcon was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player (MVP) along with being named in the Mythical Five with teammate Malick Diouf.

Evan Nelle, who was also selected in the Mythical Five, led the charge for the Green Archers with 19 points as fellow Mythical Five member and teammate Kevin Quiambao struggled with just 7 points on an abysmal 2-15 shooting.

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